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Whether we have slept through Matins’ dream offices or lain awake,
we rise to a morning bell we do not call Lauds, and not calling it ablution,
we, for the day’s offices, flush dust and dead skin from our many creases.
On the highway and through the parking garage to a computer pinging
with the needs and even dreams of those to whom we minister, we carry
a grateful heart—or try to—and we labor at gratitude through the long
and exhausting offices we do not call Terces, Sexts, and Nones.
At Vespers we share with our bodies a meal not exactly a Eucharist,
and before the Compline bell rings, we indulge in bourbon, sex, or prayer,
and then lie down, thankful for tomorrow’s impossible offices.

The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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